Not Your Typical Burrito Joint

Morehead City, NC, April 17, 2019 – Chef Clarke Merrell announces the grand opening of his third Dank Burrito location on Friday, April 19th at 10:30am at the new Transfer Co. Food Hall in downtown Raleigh, NC (500 East Davie Street; www.dankburrito.com; @DankburritoNC). His mission is to serve bold, “craveable” flavors with the craftsmanship of fine dining and the convenience of street food.

“We’re not your typical burrito joint,” explains Merrell. “I come from the fine-dining world where you don’t cut any corners, and you can spend days just enhancing the flavor of a single ingredient in a dish. We want to take that fine-dining flavor experience, which few get to enjoy, and bring it to the street. We take inspiration from the most craveable street food flavors everyone loves, then we source the freshest possible ingredients and enhance them through fine-dining techniques. We wrap it all up in a humble tortilla and serve it in a causal space so that anyone, regardless of where you come from, can enjoy it.”

Dank Burrito offers chef-designed tacos, burritos, bowls and salads with an ethnic-fusion style that is anything but Southwestern. The use of “dank” (slang for “fresh” or “high quality”) in the name hints both at Clarke’s passion for serving what he calls “fresh-to-death” ingredients, as well as the brand’s urban street vibe echoed in the graffiti art-covered walls and food truck which bear the name. The heartbeat of Dank Burrito is a commitment to hand-crafting ingredients from scratch, including proteins like slow-roasted soy ginger pork shoulder and chili-marinated carne asada; toppings like kimchi, banh-mi, slaws and salsa; and the tortilla chips with signature house-blended seasoning and choice of salsa that come with every order. “The beauty of burritos and tacos is that you can pack a ton of flavor in one bite,” says Merrell. “That’s why we call them Flavor Bombs”. The burritos, bowls and salads are enough to feed a large appetite, while the tacos are sized for 2 per person, allowing guests to mix and try multiple flavors.

The flavor options are as diverse as Merrell’s cooking style, tying together tastes and techniques from different ethnic cuisines and reimagining nostalgic American dishes. Some of the most popular choices include the spice-rubbed Pork Belly with kimchi or banh mi-style pickled veggies and sweet Thai-chili sauce; the Cajun Fried Catch of the Day with fresh, local seafood topped with pico de gallo and chipotle mayo; the iconic Prime Rib Cheesesteak with peppers, onions, mushrooms, and garlic aioli; and the crowd-favorite Jerk Chicken rubbed with a prized, secret spice blend and topped with sour cream and pineapple-mango salsa. Each order comes with Dank Burrito’s signature chips and choice of house-made salsas, with creamy roasted-garlic queso or fresh guacamole as add-on options. Diners can finish their meals with house-made vanilla or Nutella crème brulée. (That’s right, made by hand with fresh shell eggs!)

Clarke Merrell is the creator behind a variety of food concepts throughout the Crystal Coast region, including Circa 81 Tapas & Cocktaileria in Morehead City, and Beaufort Olive Oil Company with locations in Morehead City, Beaufort, Emerald Isle and Swansboro. He also owns Merrell Estate & Gardens, a destination wedding and event venue in Indian Beach. Dank Burrito began in 2014 as a food truck, Merrell’s new passion project born out of Circa 81. Over the following year, the concept was received so successfully throughout its routes from Beaufort to Raleigh that in 2015 Merrell established the first brick-and-mortar flagship location in Morehead City. In 2017, Dank Burrito added a second location on the historic Beaufort, NC waterfront.

After years of participating in Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos and serving Triangle vacationers in Morehead City each summer, Clarke and his wife, Liza, are thrilled to expand Dank Burrito and join the Triangle community as they debut their Transfer Co. Food Hall location. “Liza attended high school in Raleigh, and we spent the early years of our relationship living and working in Raleigh after I graduated from Culinary School, so we are excited and honored to return and serve this city alongside the esteemed group of chefs and brands at Transfer Co. Food Hall.”

Dank Burrito’s menu offers each flavor as a Taco ($6.99-$9.99 for two), Burrito ($7.99-$10.99), Bowl or Salad (same price as Burritos) with chips and choice of salsa included, plus Extras ($0.49-$2.99) and Desserts ($3.99) available.

Dank Burrito will open for lunch and dinner from 10:30am-10:00pm Wednesday through Sunday until the food hall opens for a full 7 days a week (then, Monday-Sunday). Delivery and catering/event services to Downtown Raleigh are planned to roll out later in 2019. Please contact 81 Hospitality’s business office at 252.773.0592 for inquiries.